David Duval British Open Press Conference Transcript


STEWART McDOUGAL: David Duval, defending champion, opening with a 1 under par, 72. How was your round this morning?
DAVID DUVAL: Obviously the weather was extremely cooperative. My golf game was fairly cooperative. I played pretty well. I feel like today was kind of a resemblance of a lot of my rounds this year where I've been right on the edge of playing very, very well, but just haven't quite gone over that edge. I hit a lot of nice shots, hit a couple of tee shots that I hit into the rough and from there obviously you're in trouble. Really, on the back nine I had a few putts I thought I had holed; a couple more that I could have holed, really fairly easy putts from 8 to 12 feet, and that didn't go in, and it really was not far from shooting 68 or 69.
Q. Do you think with the weather conditions, the potential is there for somebody to take the score down?
DAVID DUVAL: Yes, I think that you could shoot a very good, very good score today. You've seen a few. The problem, I think the thing that could possibly prevent any 6, 7, 8 under pars from happening is the golf course. The bunkers and the rough and such, they kind of sneak up on you at times, and some of the good shots end up there, and I think that's what's probably kept the scores from being lower, and at the same time there is probably a club wind that's not prevailing, from what I understand, at least from the way the trees are leaning, (laughs) so it makes it a little more difficult.
Q. How about the pin positions, were they tricky for the first day?
DAVID DUVAL: A company of them were a little funny, a little tough. There was some pretty good slope -- number five was a very difficult pin. 15, same thing, where there was a lot of break right around the hole, but nothing unfair and nothing unreasonable.
Q. The link courses and the challenges it presents, do you think everyone else is more tentative the first round, a little more cautious?
DAVID DUVAL: That's probably a fair assessment, especially when you face days like this where the golf ball is not running a whole lot on the fairways and there's not much wind. The game plan, you may have put together are out the window. You're hitting different clubs off of different holes than you thought you would, and everybody has some nervousness, I'm sure, in the first round, it's normal, when you get into the groove of the week, things might loosen up a little bit, and things might free up a little bit.
Q. What is the game plan out there?
DAVID DUVAL: I don't actually mean the game plan, but the clubs used to accomplish that, to putting the ball where you want are a lot different on a day that where I guess there is more of an east wind as opposed to a west wind. So the holes where were are drivers are sometimes, you're hitting 4-irons off tees now. It's just entirely different.
Q. Given these kind of glassy conditions, are you a bit miffed that you didn't take more advantage or was it a day it just wasn't there for you?
DAVID DUVAL: Again, I'm not upset or mad. I feel I could have had a better score. I feel like that a lot, though. I played fairly well, like I said. Nothing great. It could have very easily been a few shots better.
Q. The year you've had, is today's round like encouraging that you are almost there now. Any reason to feel that way?
DAVID DUVAL: I felt that way for a long time. I felt like I've been close, just not quite getting it done, and missing -- I missed that one fairway I shouldn't, or that one extra fairway today and shortside myself on a green that one time I shouldn't and that totals up over the course of, for me, two days or four, if you make the cut. In this game, with the players today, you can't make those mistakes. I haven't been on top of my game. I've been making uncharacteristic mistakes and that's not a formula for success any longer.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I feel like I'm right there, and at times for anybody who plays the game, you know, when you're right close to playing well, it's sometimes when it feels the worst because you know you're there but you're fighting it a little bit, but I think that for me there's a lot of great stuff left this week. There's a lot of big events left this year and I have every intention of being fully prepared.
Q. Is it an issue of not forcing it but letting it come because you know it's there?
DAVID DUVAL: It's a balance I think, I've put in the time and work to make it happen. I don't know if that makes sense, working on letting it happen. But that's what I'm doing.